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VIDEO: VFC midfielder Grady McConnell to play for the Republic of Ireland, again

Third call up for 16-year-old

Vancouver FC midfielder Grady McDonnell has been called up to the Republic of Ireland’s U-16 team for the UEFA Development Tournament in May.

VFC made the announcement Monday, April 29.

As a result, McDonnell, who is eligible to represent the Republic of Ireland because of his father’s heritage, will not be available for Vancouver’s league match on Sunday, May 12, against Ottawa.

The four-team UEFA tournament will be hosted in Portugal from Tuesday, May 7, May 14, 2024.

Ireland will face Switzerland on Thursday, May 9, Austria on Saturday, May 11, and host Portugal on Tuesday, May 14.

It marks McDonnell’s third call up for the Republic of Ireland in 2024. McDonnell previously represented the country’s U-16 team at the Aegean Cup in January, where he appeared in all three matches and scored one goal, and its U-17 squad in February for two international friendlies.

McDonnell has made nine appearances in international competitions for the Republic of Ireland at the U-16 level including winning The Victory Shield, an annual tournament at the U-16 level featuring Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales, in November 2023.

The 2024 UEFA Development Tournament will be McDonnell’s second appearance in the event after playing in the U-15 edition in 2022. The native of Surrey, made his international debut for the Boys in Green at the 2022 tournament, coming on as a 41st minute substitute in the opening match.

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When his signing to a three-year contract, was announced in January by Langley-based VFC, McDonnell, 15, was the youngest signing in Canadian Premier League history at the time, superseding teammate Taryck ‘TJ’ Tahid, who was 16 years and 16 days old when he inked his first professional contract with the club in May 2023.

Prior to joining VFC, McDonnell, who turned 16 in February, played for the Vancouver Whitecaps in their Academy system.

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